John Locke's Conception Of Natural Law

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John Locke is arguably the most influential philosopher in regards to common law as a whole and specifically the development of the American Republic. His opinions on the nature of man and the duties of government lay the groundwork for representative democracy and fight heavily against the concept of divine right of kings. His belief is that people are born with freedom and that any subjection or restrictions should be created as a means to maintain the freedoms of all men instead of enforcing the will of any particular individual. Monarchy justified by divinity is a perversion of natural law because it takes away the right of man to govern his person and property and gives this right to another for no reason other than arbitrary chance …show more content…
So if a monarch, or other authority infringes upon any of these rights they have cast away their own entitlement to said rights. It is in these instances, where a ruling body decides without input from the persons mentioned; that Locke believes war is justified. However, Locke does not believe that war is something that should be practiced often, and he also believes that there are other ways to ensure the rights of each individual. This is the true reasoning behind society and governments, and by extension the definitive guideline to how a ruling body should be formed. Not by chance, power, or subjection but by the people that are to be governed, because these governments’ sole purpose is to protect each citizen’s natural rights. The government is not to be used as a means to benefit from its subjects. No one man has any right over the rights of another be it by birth, power, or chance. Which is why Locke is so against the ideas of divine rights and absolute …show more content…
In effect, the government is something that the people themselves create as a means to mitigate conflicting parties and ensure that mean, which are born equal, are treated equally. While it is true that the ruling parties must have power over individuals and the ability to mandate certain laws these laws should always be focused on protecting the rights of the people. All of these theories on government, power, representation and leadership stem from the idea that people are born equally and that they rationally and logically want a society that protects these equalities from passion or aggression that opposes natural law. They are a necessity because while men may want cooperation and social constructs he is not infallible, and when a system is in place that acknowledges these fallibilities it prevents the state of war. These natural laws may seem contradictory when used as a means to support justified warfare, how can the right to life be taken away? The reasoning comes from the idea that some claims to power are unjust and that men have the right and obligation to protect there and others rights. When someone rules for self interest, ignores societies will, and threatens the freedom of people then he is no longer acting as a just ruler. The government should be made and should act as an extension of the populace and its goals, and similarly people should have a role

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